We’ve been traveling for a little over a month now, and it’s definitely one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. International travel is full of daily miscommunications, small (and sometimes big) mistakes, exhaustion, and me constantly spilling food on myself (a fact that is only compounded by the fact that I have exactly 4 shirts). But Lucca was not any of those things.
Lucca was perfect.
We woke up in our cozy B&B to sunlight filtering through the curtains and birds chirping. Now usually I want to punch birds in the throat when they make any kind of noise in the morning, but today, it just seemed happy and cheerful. What?? (I’m still not sure how I achieved Snow White status overnight.)
We also felt extremely well-rested after a night of sleeping on what I can only describe as a cotton candy mattress filled with fairy dust and feathers. (It was not a bunk bed, not a futon, and not the cheapest Ikea mattress in existence, so this bed was my personal slice of heaven.)
We ate our complimentary breakfast outside on the terrace. And for those few minutes, it was easy to imagine that we lived in this sleepy little Italian town, that this was our home, and that I was actually capable of keeping flowers and plants alive and looking beautiful on my balcony.
We walked to the city center, taking in the sights (bikes, specialty shops, bakeries) and smells (flowers, freshly baked bread, more freshly baked bread). We stood in the middle of the circular plaza, spinning slowly and admiring the panoramic view of yellow buildings, green shutters, and white umbrellas.
The city of Lucca is surrounded by a series of brick walls, originally built for defense against neighboring Florence. Eventually, when Italy was unified, the tops of these Renaissance era walls were transformed into a public pathway around the city, with gorgeous views of the mountains and trees, and a glimpse of the Tuscan rooftops just outside the city.
And since the day was going really well so far, we decided to further tempt fate by renting a tandem bike. That’s right, y’all. A bicycle built for two.
(Can you even think of a cuter thing for us to do in an already adorable city??)
The trail looked like this. Which made me feel like I was in a movie. Because my brain kept thinking it must be a fake Hollywood set with tree props and extras being paid to meander along the path.
And despite neither of us riding a bike in over 5 years (much less trying to balance another human’s entire body weight at the same time), we didn’t fall off! And we even managed to look cute and happy.
Sometimes we really tested the limits of our perfect day (and our tandem bike riding skills), by hopping off our bike to take in the scenery. And also so I could take a picture of our feet in the fields.
(I’m pretttyyyy sure those are weeds. But it’s fine.)
Afterward, we continued our goal of personally taste-testing all of the gelato in Italy. I let the shop owner choose 3 of her favorite flavors for me and was not disappointed. It was absolutely incredible.
And I didn’t even spill any on my shirt!
Assuming this is a real place and I didn’t just dream up a perfect day, Lucca is a short 30 minute ride (by train or bus) from Pisa. It’s not super famous for any world renowned sites, but it is a peek at authentic small-town Italian life, where you can make an afternoon of riding a bike around town and eating gelato. B&Bs were affordable and super cute.
(However, it should be noted, that while possible, overnight Snow White transformation is not in any way guaranteed. Your results may vary.)